The buzzworthy novel hasn’t even hit shelves yet, but Adrian McKinty’s The Chain already has an adaptation in the works: the screen rights have officially been acquired by Paramount Pictures.
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Although the novel’s release is still a few weeks out (July 9, 2019), The Chain has already received considerable praise with Kirkus Reviews calling it “[a]n unmissable thriller” and Publishers Weekly declaring that “[r]eaders won’t be able to put this thriller down.” Given how rarely books receive this kind of attention pre-publication, this would be a massive feat even if it weren’t for the massive amount of cash involved.
Image Via Allen & Unwin
Given the acclaim, it’s clear that the book is worthy of the hype, and it should be no surprise that McKinty’s novel joins the list of books that had their screen rights (film and/or TV rights) snatched up even before they hit shelves.
Do you find yourself asking “why this novel?” Well, just read this bloody awesome blurb and see for yourself:
YOUR PHONE RINGS.
A STRANGER HAS KIDNAPPED YOUR CHILD.
TO FREE THEM YOU MUST ABDUCT SOMEONE ELSE’S CHILD.
YOUR CHILD WILL BE RELEASED WHEN YOUR VICTIM’S PARENTS KIDNAP ANOTHER CHILD.
IF ANY OF THESE THINGS DON’T HAPPEN:
YOUR CHILD WILL BE KILLED.
YOU ARE NOW PART OF THE CHAIN.
It’s a story of a victim, a survivor, an abductor, a criminal, and odds are all those words could describe the same person. Who are the masterminds behind The Chain? Why are they playing this sick game?
The author is a master storyteller, evident in that the Irish writer has had 19 novels published. His debut novel Dead I Well May Be was short-listed for the CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger Award 2004 and, two years ago in 2017, his novel Rain Dogs won both the Edgar Award and the Barry Award.
Despite this success, McKinty wasn’t making money as a novelist. Deadline reports how despite the many accolades, McKinty, “[t]o pay his bills… did odd jobs from construction to picking up fares as an Uber driver. It wasn’t enough: He was evicted from his home because the book writing didn’t pay him a living wage.”
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During his time as an Uber driver, McKinty made contact with Don Winslow, internationally bestselling author of The Cartel and The Force, who put him in contact with Shane Salerno, infamous for writing the James Cameron Avatar sequels. Salerno told the struggling novelist to give it one last try.
IMAGE Via Irish TImes
Now The Chain, which Winslaw calls “Jaws for parents,” is taking its place at the forefront of the literary community: “it belongs in the elite company of world-class thrillers like Gone Girl and The Silence of the Lambs.” The author’s struggles have made it all the more satisfying that this master work has been bought by Paramount executive Alex Jackson.
Surprisingly, The Sydney Morning Herald reports that “[w]hen his agent told him he was pitching The Chain to film studios, McKinty said he didn’t want to know about any potential deal until it was 99 per cent stitched up.”
Sadly, they also note that the seven-figure sum would only materialize if Paramount actually made the film. McKinty commented, “if nothing happens, so be it. But it’s really cool and I’m very excited.”
Featured Image Via Mulholland Books.